Facing Reality

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The Boy is 14, and will be 15 in two months. Old enough to take driver’s training. I don’t think there’s much out there that he would like to learn more than how to drive for real. He “practices” in the passenger seat often, rides the riding lawnmower without assistance, has driven go karts, and in general very much looks forward to the day when he can drive his own car. But will he?

I’ve talked briefly to him a few times about how his high school track will work out, how he will get some work skills, and concentrate on learning how to become an employee. But he still wants to be a band director. I think he still wants to go to college. And I know that in the strictest sense, he will not go to college as he envisions it.

He has dreamed about getting a blue Chevy Sonic to drive when he gets his license, but I had to break it to him the other day that it wasn’t going to happen, and that he needed to start saving if he wanted a car at all. A new car of his choice is just not in the cards.

When your kiddos are little, this all seems so far away, and the last thing you want to do is limit their dreams. But when it comes time to face reality, then what?

These are the things that keep me up at night as a mom to a teenage boy on the spectrum. It may not be all that different from being a mom to a neurotypical teenager, except that reality sometimes doesn’t make sense to a logical, autistic mind.

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A Cell Phone for The Boy

I mentioned yesterday that The Boy is very interested in getting a cell phone. The Man is convinced he will lose it, but I’m just relieved that he doesn’t want an iPhone. In fact, he isn’t interested in a smart phone. I still have to sit down with him and figure out what exactly he wants it for. I believe it’s mostly for the alarm clock capabilities, believe it or not.

The Man and I have discussed this before, and the difficulty here is limiting the use.  I’m sure that’s not news to anyone else with a kid between the ages of 8 and 21, but remember, I did the iPad all wrong. He doesn’t get that there isn’t unlimited storage. He doesn’t get “the cloud,” and how you have to move or remove images and video in order to make more. He doesn’t get it. Or maybe he does, but just doesn’t want to. He laments that Steve Jobs died too young, before he could figure out how to give people unlimited storage. I kid you not.

So I want to be careful here. Tread softly. Get all of my information from my service provider about the best way to go about this. Pre-paid or not? What limits can I put on the account? Insurance? Can we use this old cell phone I just found in a box from twelve years ago (please, please, please)?…

We shall see how this plays out. Anyone with autism in their lives knows there’s more to consider. “I want Sonic on the back,” is a very real concern. Do they make cases or covers for this model, and if they do, is there a Sonic the Hedgehog version available? If not, we may have to consider a different phone…

Help me.